La Salle Caps Unprecedented Season with State Title


Posted on 12/6/2014 at 11:20am

It was already the best season in La Salle’s football history, with the Lancers having earned a share of the coveted GCL South championship, recorded the first postseason victory in school history, and then advanced to the state championship game.  But Friday night, coach Nate Moore’s team took its final step to make sure that Lancer Nation would never forget its memorable 2014 football season.

La Salle completed a dominating postseason run by defeating previously unbeaten Macedonia Nordonia, 55-20, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state championship before a crowd of almost 10,000 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.  In the process, the Lancers (14-1) set a new Division II state final record with their 55 points – surpassing the previous mark of 50 set by  Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in 1980.

Junior running back Jeremy Larkin scored his team’s first two touchdowns, including a 45-yard run in the first quarter to make it 14-3. Larkin, who went over 2,500 yard rushing for the season in the first half, finished with 104 yards on the ground and two scores.  He is a finalist for the Associated Press Ohio Mr. Football Award.  Larkin finished the five postseason games with nearly 1,050 yards rushing and a total of 17 TDs, 15 on the ground.

Sophomore running back Jarell White, who teamed with Larkin to give the Lancers the most potent backfield duo in Cincinnati this season, also scored a TD – on an 11-yard run to make it 27-13 in the final minute of the first half.  Then, senior defensive back Avery Larkin intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for a score to give the Lancers a 34-13 lead at the break.

Junior quarterback Nick Watson ran and threw for scores, and John Junker blocked a punt and returned it 15 yards for a TD – giving the Lancers a score on special teams, where La Salle also was strong all season.  La Salle ends the season with an eight-game winning streak, and the only thing preventing La Salle from posting a perfect season was a 24-21, last second-loss to Division I regional semifinalist St. Xavier.

The state final victory capped a postseason in which the Lancers outscored its opposition, 245-91.  The Lancers scored 48 or more points in four of the five postseason games and wound up averaging better than 46 points a game for the entire season.  Those numbers came against a schedule that included three GCL South games, a season-opener against Colerain and a playoff matchup with then unbeaten Mt. Healthy.

La Salle’s state football championship continues a string of three consecutive seasons in which a GCL South school has won a state crown.  Moeller won back-to-back Division I state titles in 2012 and 2013, and the Crusaders advanced to the state semifinals this season.  Since 2002, every GCL South member has won a state title – with Elder going back-to-back in 2002 and 2003, and then St. Xavier winning trophies in 2005 and 2007.

In all, the GCL South has won seven titles since 2002.